Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson College of Rehabilitation Sciences
Department of Physical Therapy

Bell, Karla A.

< Back


Karla A. Bell, PT, DPT, OCS, GCS

Karla A. Bell, PT, DPT, OCS, GCS

Contact Dr. Bell

901 Walnut Street
Room 503
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 503-1644
(215) 503-3499 fax

Board Certification

Board Certified Geriatric Specialist
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist


DPT, University of Massachusetts-Lowell
MSPT, University of Massachusetts-Lowell
BS, University of Pittsburgh

University Appointment

Co-Director Clinical Education
Assistant Professor 

Research Interests

  • Inclusive cultural competency/humility curriculum integration
  • Sexual and gender minority health disparity/equity
  • Resiliency and student learning in professional/clinical education
  • Support and retention of sexual and gender minority health professions students

Grants/ Contracts

2018-2019 Jefferson College of Health Professions Dean’s Research Award. Zapletal AL, Bell KA, Vause-Farland T, Toth-Cohen S. Integrating Sexual and Gender Minorities Education and Training into Health Professions: A Faculty Development Pilot Study.

Select Publications

Wruble Hakim W, Moffat M, Becker E, Bell, KA, Manal TJ, Schmitt L, Ciolek C. Application of Educational Theory and Evidence in Support of an Integrated Model of Clinical Education. JOPTE 2014:28 (supplement 1); 13-21. 

Bade M, PT, MPT, FAAOMPT; Bell KA, PT, DPT, OCS; Stevens-Lapsley J, PT, MPT, PhD; and Manal T, PT, DPT, OCS, SCS. Surgical Management and Rehabilitation of Knee Arthroplasty.  APTA Monograph (2010). 

Bell KA, PT, DPT, OCS, GCS; Shovestul A. Total Knee Arthroplasty: Clinical Summary. APTA PT NOW (2011). 

Select Presentations

Bell KA, LaLonde A, Bryan D. Unchecked Box: Addressing Needs of Trans and Gender Nonconforming DPT Students. APTA CSM 2018  

Abbruzzese LD, Bell KA. Aging and LGBT Patients: Breaking The Silence! APTA CSM 2017. 

Bell KA. Linking Cultural Competency with Health Disparities in the LGBTQ Population AND Why PT Should Care. California Physical Therapy Association Annual Conference 2017.

Bell KA. The Foundation of Culturally Competent Communication for Patient Care with our Patients Who are LGBTQ. 6th Annual Johns Hopkins Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinical Showcase 2016. 

Bell KA. Intersectional Cultural Competency Curricular Changes for Rehab Professionals and Nursing. GLMA National Conference 2016 

Bell KA, Rodden T. LGBT Cultural Competence in Health Care: A Community Engagement Perspective: Educational Session. APTA CSM 2016. 

Bell KA, Gregore D. Transforming and Implementing Intersectional Cultural Competency Curricular Changes to Improve Health Care Delivery for LGBTQ  Patients: Educational Session. APTA Educational Leadership Conference 2015. 

Bell KA, Ciolek C, Foeller C, Wruble Hakim E. ICE-ing the Curriculum: 2 part Educational Session. APTA NEXT 2015. 

Bell KA, Ciolek C, Foeller C, Wruble Hakim E The DCE Toolbox: Nuts and Bolts of ICEs: 2 part Educational Session. APTA NEXT 2015. 

Bell KA, Arundale A, Ciolek C, Foeller C, Wruble Hakim E. Comparison of Clinical Performance Rating Tools for Integrated Clinical Experiences: A Preliminary Analysis. APTA CSM 2015. 

Bell KA, Stewart E, Holler J, Khoroshan E, Anderson A, Kwok A, Hakim EW. Cultivating the HealthCare Profession: The Value of Peer-Guided Learning in Developing a Culture of Communication, Collaboration, and Consultation, 2nd International Conference and Exhibition on Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 2014. 

Holler J, Khoroshan E, Anderson A, Bell KA, Stewart E, Kwok A, Wruble Hakim E. A Culture of Collaboration Made Meaningful Through Student-Directed SWiB (Study with Buddies) Sessions and Clinical Mentorship. NEXT 2014 and 4th Annual Rehabilitation Therapy Services Clinical Showcase 2014 

Bell KA, Ciolek C, Hakim Wruble E. Imparting the Art and Science of Teaching to the Educators of the Future. APTA CSM 2014. 

Bell KA, Ciolek C, Hakim Wruble E. Innovation in Clinical Education Performance: An Algorithm for Standardized Decision-Making Interventions for Optimal Student Outcomes. Educational Leadership Conference 2013 

Beeson R, Manal TJ, Bell KA, Carroll A. Recognition of Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome: A Case Requiring Physician Referral. APTA Annual Conference 2013.

Shovestul AO, Bell KA, Manal TJ. “Primary Care Role of an Outpatient Physical Therapist for a Medically Complex Patient With Fear Avoidant Beliefs”. APTA CSM 2012.

Select Professional and Community Service

American Physical Therapy Association
        HPA-The Catalyst
                Advisor, PT Proud LGBTQ+ Catalyst Group (2018-Present)

        Content Expert Reviewer, Guidelines for Recognizing and Providing Care for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence (2015)

        Education Section
                Conference abstract reviewer (2015-Present)

        American Board of Residency and Fellowship Education
                Residency Review Subcommittee (2009-2013)

United Way of Delaware
        Co-Chair, Pride Council’s LGBTQ Health Equity Task Force (2016-Present)

Clinical Practice

Pro bono practice at Thomas Jefferson University

Awards and Honors

  • Chosen Participant, Grantsmanship and Mentorship in Educational Research (GAMER). American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT), 2018
  • Recipient, University of Delaware Louis L. Redding Diversity Award, 2014 
  • Recipient, Signe Brunnstrom Award for Excellence in Clinical Education, American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), 2012